5 Tips to Finding the Right School for Your Child

Jun 22


Nicole Anderson

Nicole Anderson

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If you are like me you probably lost sleep over what school to enroll your child in. This is especially the case with people who move to new school districts or moving people moving their pre-schooler to kindergarten.


Choosing the right school is one of the most critical decisions in your child’s development.  As hard as it is to admit,5 Tips to Finding the Right School for Your Child Articles your child will spend more time at school with teachers and classmates then at home.

After making my way through the school search I would like to share my hard-earned tips to making your search easier.

First you will need to decide Public or Private School

Some districts have highly rated public schools and others do not. Private schooling does not necessarily mean religious based school.  There are of course plenty of religious based schools but there are also non-sequitarian private schools to choose from.

There are many things to consider when deciding “public or private”: 

1 – Consider both Public and Private School Options

Public School Option

The state education system is always under fire.  That doesn’t mean all public schools are bad.  Do some simple research and see what you think about the school(s) in your area.

- What is the local public school like?

Tour the public school during school hours.  This can be arranged with the admissions office.  Look at the children who attend.  Are these the friends you would like for your child?  Peek in the class room(s), if allowed.  Does it seem organized?  Meet the teacher who would be teaching your child.  Ask about schedule for school and class room size.

You can find out the statistics for your local public school at http://www.publicschoolreview.com.  This site will give you information on the school’s performance for statewide testing, student to teacher ratio compared to state average, ethnicity of students attending, etc.  It will give you great information on the school.

Private School Option

Your can find out what private schools are in your area by visiting http://www.privateschoolreview.com/.  This site will give you detailed information on number of students who attend, class size, student to teach ratio, etc.

When choosing a private school a couple things to consider are:

- Does the schools religious or ethics and moral instruction fall in line with how you want your child to be raised.

- Is it within reasonable commuting distance from your home

- Can you afford it?

Although this is definitely not the most important point, it must be evaluated.  Private schooling is not cheap.  Prices normally range from $3500-$8000 per child per year.  Most schools offer payment options generally structured to include an enrollment fee and then 6-12 month payment plans.  Some private schools offer scholarships based on the child’s academic performance and/or the parent’s income.  If you decide to enroll your child in a private school long term affordability is important.  You do not want to have your child transferred due to lack of tuition payment.

2 – Do Your Homework on the School(s)

Before deciding on a school you should do the following:

- Call the school and ask for a brochure or packet on the school

- Tour the school(s) you are considering

- Meet the teacher(s) that will be teaching your child

- If possible, view a class while in session

- Ask questions, any and all questions you may have

- Find out about class size

- Know about the school schedule.  Does it work with your life schedule?

Once you have narrowed the search down to one or two schools have your spouse (if applicable) and child tour the school(s).  Often you can schedule a tour with the school or attend an open house or parent meeting night.

Talk to your child and spouse about the school:

1 – Do you like the school? Do you feel comfortable there?

2 – Does your child like the school and feel comfortable there?

3 – Was the curriculum up to your standards?

4 – What was the education level of the students in the class?

5 – Was it clean?


Once you have made your decision enroll your child.  This is particularly important with private school.  Space is limited and will fill up.  Kindergarten classes are notorious for this.  You can enroll your child as early as a year ahead of time to ensure they get in to the school of our choice.

4 – Waiting Lists for Private Schools

Waiting lists exist at private schools that are full, meaning the class you are trying to enroll your child in has reach maximum enrollment.  You can put your child’s name on a waiting list.  They will call you if a space becomes available.  Make sure to ask what number you are on the waiting list.  You may have a chance is you are #1-5, but even then it is only a chance.  Do not rely on this waiting list.  Find an alternative school and if they call in the meantime, GREAT!

5 – Talk with Your Child

Once school has started talk to your child.  Ask him how school is going?  Do you like the teachers?  Have you made friends?  Your child’s responses will give you an indication of how the school is working out.  Also, watch your child’s behavior.  Sometimes a child’s behavior changes mildly after being introduced into a new group of children and environment.  This is nothing that a good home life and parenting can’t handle quickly though.  The only cause for concern is drastic negative behavior changes.  If this is the case you may want to talk to your child more seriously about what has been going on at school and have a consultation with the teacher.  Normally children are good with change and adapt easily.

I am not a doctor, psychiatrist, or psychologist.  I am a child care giver, a child counselor, a mentor, child advisor and an expert on my child, which is simply means I am a MOM!  I hope this information will help you find the right school for your child.  I didn’t know where to start and since I write articles for work I thought it would be great to share what I have learned through this process in the hopes of helping the fellow parents in their quest for the right school for their child.